The Olympic sport of weightlifting has experienced phenomenal growth in the past decade, mostly due to the increased use of our lifts and training via CrossFit. More people now know what the snatch and the clean & jerk movements are. They know many of the supplemental exercises we use in training. Basically, between this new popularity and the Internet there are very few weightlifting secrets left undiscovered.
But I always have to caution newcomers that our sport is located at the extreme far end of the resistance training continuum. Weightlifting, plyometrics, and other explosive forms of resistance training are advanced, not basic training tools.
This presents several challenges. First, if our lifts were easily mastered, everyone would be successful. We know this is not the case. Second, anything complicated requires good instruction and educational materials. This does not always happen. Third, popularity often brings people and practices together long before they should couple.
Sure, anyone can start off with snatch and C&J if they want to, but aren’t we agreed today that best results come from establishing a strong initial base through more basic moves? How about some squatting, pressing, and general work for the lower back musculature before introducing complicated lifts?
As I pointed out in the US Olympic Committee’s Team USA Coaching Newsletter, one of the reasons we see so many new lifters, particularly females, at national meets is that CrossFit has provided excellent preparatory work. These eventual lifters bring a great deal of strength, power, and muscular development to bear when executing the lifts.
This level of preparation has not always been available for young lifters that simply come through the club system.
Look at some of the recent outreach efforts aimed specifically at recruiting from gymnastics and cheerleading. While the former sport fully prepares a potential young lifter, the latter may not address the entire picture of proper preparation.
The aim of this article was to educate coaches on the advantages of weightlifting, the need for proper preparation and education, and the challenge of bringing new athletes to the international platform.
Click this link to download the full newsletter: https://usoc.newstartmobile.com/content/USOC/USAW_Strength_and_Power_Training.pdf
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Explosive Lifting for Sports (Book & DVD set)